Reclaiming Wood, and Their Original Business, Biondo and Disbrow Revive Antique Lumber Co. - 27 East

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Reclaiming Wood, and Their Original Business, Biondo and Disbrow Revive Antique Lumber Co.

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Jason Biondo often incorporates reclaimed wood from Antique Lumber Company in projects he does through his company, Hammerhead Construction. TODOR TSVETKOV

Jason Biondo often incorporates reclaimed wood from Antique Lumber Company in projects he does through his company, Hammerhead Construction. TODOR TSVETKOV

Jason Biondo often incorporates reclaimed wood from Antique Lumber Company in projects he does through his company, Hammerhead Construction. TODOR TSVETKOV

Jason Biondo often incorporates reclaimed wood from Antique Lumber Company in projects he does through his company, Hammerhead Construction. TODOR TSVETKOV

Jason Biondo often incorporates reclaimed wood from Antique Lumber Company in projects he does through his company, Hammerhead Construction. TODOR TSVETKOV

Jason Biondo often incorporates reclaimed wood from Antique Lumber Company in projects he does through his company, Hammerhead Construction. TODOR TSVETKOV

Jason Biondo often incorporates reclaimed wood from Antique Lumber Company in projects he does through his company, Hammerhead Construction. TODOR TSVETKOV

Jason Biondo often incorporates reclaimed wood from Antique Lumber Company in projects he does through his company, Hammerhead Construction. TODOR TSVETKOV

Jason Biondo often incorporates reclaimed wood from Antique Lumber Company in projects he does through his company, Hammerhead Construction. TODOR TSVETKOV

Jason Biondo often incorporates reclaimed wood from Antique Lumber Company in projects he does through his company, Hammerhead Construction. TODOR TSVETKOV

The Antique Lumber company showroom in Southampton.  DANA SHAW

The Antique Lumber company showroom in Southampton. DANA SHAW

The Antique Lumber company showroom in Southampton.  DANA SHAW

The Antique Lumber company showroom in Southampton. DANA SHAW

The Antique Lumber company showroom in Southampton.  DANA SHAW

The Antique Lumber company showroom in Southampton. DANA SHAW

Jason Biondo at the Antique Lumber Company.  DANA SHAW

Jason Biondo at the Antique Lumber Company. DANA SHAW

Jason Biondo at the Antique Lumber Company.  DANA SHAW

Jason Biondo at the Antique Lumber Company. DANA SHAW

The Antique Lumber company showroom in Southampton.  DANA SHAW

The Antique Lumber company showroom in Southampton. DANA SHAW

Jason Biondo at the Antique Lumber Company.  DANA SHAW

Jason Biondo at the Antique Lumber Company. DANA SHAW

Jason Biondo at the Antique Lumber Company.  DANA SHAW

Jason Biondo at the Antique Lumber Company. DANA SHAW

authorCailin Riley on Apr 17, 2024

For nearly 20 years, Jason Biondo has been building custom homes in Montauk and beyond through his company, Hammerhead Construction, which he founded in 2007.

Those who know him and his work well know that when it comes to Biondo’s specialties and where his passions lie, his calling card over time has been an affinity for reclaimed wood, and using it to make his projects stand out.

Biondo recently embarked on a reclamation project of a different kind, reestablishing a business venture that has always been near and dear to his heart.

At the end of 2022, Biondo reconnected with business partner Donnie Disbrow, and together they decided to reopen the Antique Lumber Co., which Disbrow had originally established in 1998.

The business specializes in both reclaimed and new lumber for flooring, siding, trim, accent walls, custom millwork, beams, mantels, slabs, stairs, custom furniture and more. From 2012 to 2017, Montauk was the home of Antique Lumber Co., with a showroom in the heart of the hamlet, on Main Street.

The company showroom is now set up farther west, in the plaza at 241 County Road 39A in Southampton, in the space formerly occupied by Ben Krupinski Builder, and is currently open by appointment only, although it may be open for walk-ins when the busy season picks up.

Disbrow founded Antique Lumber Co. in 1998, originally setting up shop on Montauk Highway in Water Mill. Biondo became a familiar face in that shop after he started Hammerhead in 2007, and the two became fast friends.

“I was one of his better customers because I really liked that material,” Biondo said during an interview in the new Southampton showroom in early March. “I really liked the whole reclaimed wood thing. And then we just became buddies.”

In 2012, Biondo was working on a job at a Montauk restaurant called The Coast, (which is now called Muse), building a bar out of reclaimed wood he’d sourced from Disbrow. It was a boom time in Montauk, Biondo, a lifelong Montauk resident, recalled.

“The Surf Lodge had set up shop in 2008 and everybody was following suit,” he said. “Anything with the word ‘Montauk’ was sexy.”

After dropping off lumber on the job for Biondo one day, Disbrow took a ride around Montauk. A few hours later, he called Biondo with a business proposal.

“He said, ‘Do you want to go into business together?’ and I said, ‘Absolutely.’”

That’s how the first iteration of their partnership was born. They opened the showroom on Main Street in Montauk, and had a “good run,” Biondo said, for about five years. Antique Lumber Co. also helped take the Hammerhead business, which Biondo said always has been his “bread and butter,” to the next level, while Antique Lumber Co. was more of a “cool sidecar.”

“Having a place on Main Street gave [Hammerhead] a kind of legitimacy, and suddenly the caliber of jobs I was getting was better than before,” he said.

In 2017, Disbrow moved down south, and before long, Biondo realized he was not able to run the business on his own, forcing him to close up the shop. He always missed having it, he said, but knew it was not set up to be a one-man operation.

In December 2022, Biondo experienced a bit of deja vu when Disbrow’s number came up on his phone again.

“Out of the blue, Donnie called me up and was like, ‘Let’s do it again,’” Biondo said.

Disbrow had moved north again, to central Pennsylvania, a convenient location for picking up the raw materials that make the business run. Disbrow still had the reputation he’d built up as the guy who can find the best reclaimed wood, and in recent years, he’d been getting more and more calls, enough that he felt it made sense to revive the business, Biondo explained.

Just like Montauk was booming in 2012, a decade later, Southampton had emerged as a hot spot in a different but also similar kind of way.

“If you take the back roads around Southampton now, it’s evident, there’s a new kind of building going on,” Biondo said. “There’s stuff happening here with big builders and big houses going up.”

Setting up shop in Southampton made sense for several reasons, Biondo said. Not only was it an area that was poised to provide a lot of business for the company, but the showroom location was also a better fit for the business than the main street location in Montauk was.

“Main Street in Montauk was cool, but I don’t know how ideal it was for what the business was,” Biondo said. “Most of the time, people who came in were just curious. They were shopping around in Montauk, in flip flops.”

The Southampton showroom caters to builders, architects and designers, and the occasional homeowner, coming in by appointment with serious inquiries rather than just general curiosity.

The showroom does what a showroom is meant to do — show off the beautiful and varied pieces that can be made from wood that Disbrow “picks” from locations up and down from Maine to Florida. Biondo said that Antique Lumber Co. is “the perfect two-man operation,” and both he and Disbrow are excellent at their respective roles.

Biondo describes himself as the salesperson, with the expertise that comes from nearly 20 years in business as a licensed and insured builder. Disbrow is the truck driver and sawyer, and the “picker,” the one with the well established relationships and extensive network of connections and sources from which to source the wood.

“He’s the bloodhound,” Biondo said of Disbrow. “I can’t really reveal where all our sources are, but we scour the whole Eastern Seaboard. We have sources that are good ole boys and Mennonites and Amish. They’re all different, but we all have one common goal.”

Biondo said he’s thrilled that he and Disbrow revived the business and are working together again. The company logo, which Biondo designed, features a tree with a deep and extensive root system, while the top of the tree transforms into a hammer. It gets to the heart of what the business means to Biondo, and what being a builder is all about as well.

“It’s the whole concept of using reclaimed and salvaged wood, and tying that in with the hammer,” he said. “My father is a builder, and he’s a very conscientious person, so he’s always taught me, this is what we do for a living and how we provide for our families, so respect it, take it seriously, and don’t squander the wood.

“The fact that we can take down structures that were built in the mid-1800s and then kiln dry it and reshape it and repurpose it for somebody’s accent wall on Dune Road, that’s awesome.”

Biondo explained why working with reclaimed wood is something that has called to him.

“No matter how hard we try to be sculptors, we’re not going to be as good as nature,” he said, softly running his hands over a dining room table in the showroom that was made from reclaimed wood. “This table, I didn’t sculpt this; I didn’t decide this; this is the way this maple tree grew. So all I’m doing is peeling back layers and sanding it down and just kind of letting this speak for itself.”

Like Biondo, Disbrow found the work and the wood calling to him, and in his case, pulling him out of retirement.

“You can only fish and golf so much,” Disbrow said in March, speaking from Pennsylvania, where he now lives with his wife, Kim, in an 1840s house on a farm just 10 miles from the warehouse in Maryland where he crafts the wood he sources into what the customers want.

“I figured, the building industry was booming out there, let’s open a new showroom and see what happens.”

Donnie and Kim spend plenty of time on the road in his GMC 3500 Denali pickup truck, plucking wood from suppliers up and down the coast, and inland as well.

“Thank God for Kim,” he said, adding that having a companion makes the long hours on the road more manageable. He pointed out that she’d probably like him to reconsider retirement, but for now, he’s happy.

“I’m glad I got back into it,” he said.

Biondo clearly is as well.

“I never wanted it to end, so I’m really happy,” he said. “Even when we had the little interruption between the Montauk store closing and this one opening, I still wanted to work with this kind of material, so the fact that I have these doors open again is really fulfilling. If you’re lucky enough, you get to do something you love twice.”

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